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News Scan

Realignment Forces Release of 6,000 Inmates:  Dave Downey of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that as of mid-November Riverside County had released more than 6,000 criminals early from jail due to overcrowding caused by California's Realignment law.   The law requires counties to keep parole violators, property criminals and most drug dealers in local jails or treatment programs instead of sending them to state prison. Local officials believe that by the end of 2012 the number could grow to nearly 7,000.  The county's five jails were at 85% capacity when Realignment took effect in October 2011.  By New Years Day 2012, the jails were full and the sheriff was forced to let inmates out early at a pace that continued all year.  The state has promised $100 million to increase local jail capacity, but at the article notes, that's a long-term project with a 2017 completion date.

Detroit Sets Homicide Record:  Fox News reports that 2012 was the second deadliest year in Detroit history.  While local officials report that overall crime was down by 2.63%, the city had 411 homicides for the year, the highest since 1987.  In a statement Mayor Dave Bing said that there was a "need to improve conflict resolution and other anti-crime initiatives."  Ya think?

India to Seek Death Penalty for Gang Rapists:  Officials in New Delhi will seek death sentences for five men who participated in the Dec. 16 gang rape and brutal beating which resulted in the death of their 23-year-old victim two weeks later.  LA Times writers Tanvi Sharmi and Alex Rodriquez report that law enforcement authorities have established a fast-track court to speed prosecution and sentencing of the men charged with murder, rape and kidnapping.  "A serious message needs to be sent in dealing with such heinous crimes," said Indian Cheif Justice Altamas Kabir.  The victim and a male companion had just boarded a bus to return from a movie when the five men and a 17-year-old juvenile attacked them, repeatedly raping the woman and beating them both with iron rods.  After several hours the victims were thrown, naked and unconscious, onto the roadside.  The woman, who had suffered major internal injuries, died in a Singapore hospital on December 29.  

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